It never fails. I'll write a tweet or a blog or post a picture that goes viral, and any given number of men (undoubtedly insecure) will tweet or comment or message me remarks that hinge on the proposition that the best way to undercut men is to basically call them women.
"How does it feel have a mangina, faggot?"
"Good job on being a brainwashed man-bitch."
These are all actual messages, tweets, or comments out of many I've received since I started the "Equality for Women" FB page in December and this blog in January.
On average, I get about a dozen of these on a weekly basis. They initially bothered me, but they no longer have power. That's because I came to two conclusions:
1. This person is really, really insecure in their own skin.
2. They're legitimately scared (even panicked) at the prospect of feminism having outspoken male supporters, which would undercut their linchpin argument that "feminists hate men", which would make it harder to prevent women from gaining power.
So, in order to fight back against their own insecurity and to salvage their main argument against feminism, they're taken to casting male feminists in a "feminized light".
Because if male feminists aren't real men (just emasculated tools for "bra-burning lesbians"), then they can't be used to symbolically support women's rights in the context of it being favorable to men.
Accordingly, many women and men have understandably sought to reclaim ground by trumping up masculine traits in support of feminism. What could be better PR than a big, burly, muscular dude wearing a "this is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt?
And I agree that this can be effective. It should be considered.
But I also think we need to be making a parallel argument here: why should a straight, cisgender male have to identify as a man to make a valid point about feminism?
I'm not criticizing feminists here. I'm criticizing MRAs who only seem capable of considering arguments from men who fit their John-Wayne-and-Chuck-Norris wet dreams.
My question to them is this: Why should I have to be "manly" or even redefine that word? Why should I have to be something I'm not to be taken seriously by you?
Granted, I enjoy many stereotypically masculine attributes: I love sports, I love jamming out to rock, I wear men's clothing (because I want to), I love having sex with women whom I find attractive (on many levels), etc.
But how on earth does this make me credible to you? Because "masculine" is better than "feminine"? Talk about a load of bullshit.
If you are so hell-bent on making sure the world knows that men need a voice, that we are being boxed-in by stereotypes, that we are forced to conform to gender roles and traditions... then, why are you doing all of that to me for having the audacity to advocate for women's rights?
Do you realize how absolutely hypocritical you come across? Your arguments make no sense. I can't even disagree with what you're saying because most of the time, your words and actions can't agree with what you're trying to say.
I may state I am a man to lend male support to women's rights, but I hate that label.
I'm not a man. I'm an individual with individual feelings, wants, needs, triumphs and tragedies, and I reject the wholesale lifestyle that apparently must be acquired for wanting to speak in a male space.
If someone needs to wear "TAP-OUT" shirts, give or take away 'man cards' among their friends, and drink Dr. Pepper 10 (the diet drink that's "just for men!"), then folks... it's really time to take a hard look at the merits of your arguments.
I will do whatever "effeminate" or "feminine" things I so desire if they make me happy.
And that doesn't mean I'm transsexual or transgender or transvestite (which are all perfectly fine). It doesn't mean I identify as a woman (although I certainly don't mind being called one as I view it as a compliment).
And it doesn't mean I'm gay or bisexual, which to the "bro culture", has been a roundabout way of insulting straight men as "women" without saying woman-specific slurs.
You're not being clever or crafty here. We see what you're doing. We know you're afraid of women. It's painfully obvious.
So, how long is it going to take before you self-sooth your own insecurities and stop fucking over everyone else because you're too much of a child to admit that you're scared?
We'll be waiting, and we don't care if you show up in a suit or skirt, listening to Metallica or Ani DiFranco, watching "Fight Club" or "The Notebook" (all generalizations).
You can call yourself a man all you want. Just don't use your perception of gender to discredit others who disagree with you. It's stupid and reeks of desperation.